High School Football - Week 2

Week 2 in High school football and my alma mater is 0-2 and been outscored 82-0. Ouch. But we still have the 1987 State Championship! Last week in a game I shoulda picked but didn’t even see, Madrid, Class A hosted Class 2A West Marshall. It’s not like West Marshall is a Goliath but hey, they played a team twice their size and beat them. And they play a 2A team again this week in PCM, So I will be picking that game. Another is an inner city battle in Cedar Rapids and then Indianola going up against Valley. A few weeks ago Indianola (one of the smallest 4A schools) wanted to drop down and play 3A in a different district now puts it perfect 2-0 record up against arguably the largest school in 4A.

Week 2 Picks
Valley over Indianola
Cedar Rapids-Xavier over Cedar Rapids-Prairie
Carlisle over Winterset
Clear Lake over Forest City
Aplington-Parkersburg over West Marshall
Madrid over Prairie City-Monroe
Dike-New Hartford over Hudson
Gladbrook-Reinbeck over Grundy Center
GMG over BCLUW – c’mon boys!

Week 2 (0-0)
Season (9-2)


High School Football - Week 1

So now on to Week 1 and a full slate of high school games. Dowling and Ankeny put up big wins last week to start off the season. My alma mater GMG got blanked 20-0 by Earlham. I went 4-1 last week with SC Heelan loss being my only blemish. This week a hand full of different classes.

Week 1 Picks
Ankeny over Ames
Solon over Central Clinton-Dewitt
Ballard over Dallas Center-Grimes
Gladbrook-Reinbeck over South Hardin
BCLUW over East Marshall
North Tama over GMG (sorry guys)

Week (0-0)
Season (4-1)


High School Week 0? What?

Mmmm... Can you smell it? FOOTBALL is here. High School football in Iowa starts today Friday with week 0! Everyone says that HS football is big in Florida, Texas and Ohio. But Iowa is also up there. Maybe not on talent but on passion and what it means to the small communities. If you don't believe me, just look at Parkersburg, Iowa and what Ed Thomas meant to that town and school. If you can, look back at the game ESPN telecast last year of AP vs Dike-New Hartford. Chris Speilman on that broadcast felt it and it showed in it. Google that game. So we might might be the biggest and best, but we rival that with heart and passion.

I'm going to try to do this weekly up to the title games in the dome and pick a few games each week. If I miss a week, don't sue me, like anyone is reading anyway! :P

So here we go, Week 0 as the IHSAA has called it starts off with the biggest game int he Des Moines Metro, Valley vs Dowling. 10,000 people will pack Valley Stadium in a matchup of 2 of the top 3 teams in the state. Is Valley back and how great will Dowling be? Also Week 0 gives us Ankeny vs Waukee - Can Waukee jump up and play really well with the BIG BOYS. Sioux City has a battle with East at Heelen. And I can't for get the little guys, my alma mater GMG hosts Earlham and AGWSR goes to Grundy Center.

My picks...
Dowling over Valley
Ankeny over Waukee
Heelan over East
AGWSR over Grundy
Earlham over GMG (sorry guys)

Season record (0-0)


Who's in your 5? Star Wars Characters

Ok, so I was having trouble thinking of a Who's in Your 5 to think of writing since I didn't like the ones from SoundOff to copy, and after having a few emails with a fellow Star Wars fan while she was building a Lego Ewok Glidder (which is just cool too!) I'm going to go with this. Top 5 favorite Star Wars characters.

Before I get into it I thought do I even include the prequels? Lucas I think hurt the original 3 by trying to incorporate every character from the orignals in the prequels. Really, Darth Vader built C3PO and R2D2 was Amidalla's astro droid and hey by sheer chance in all of the galaxy far, far away they both end up in Luke's hands, who happens to be their kid?

So here are my top 5 Star Wars Characters.

Honorable Mention - Princess Leia ( in the gold bikini! :P ), Han Solo, Darth Maul

5. Lando - some one had to be the player in the galaxy. Lando was that man. He ran a city and was a gambler. And he can fly the hell out of the Millenium Falcon

4. Admiral Ackbar - the coolest curstacean. It's a trap!

3. Luke - yea I admit when I played Star Wars when I was younger, I was Luke. Who didn't want to be the hero? And the Green Lightsaber was just cool!

2. Darth Vader - if you make the top 5 of all time movie villians you're a bad ass. I don't think there is a more menacing figure in movies ever. He is the epitimy of evil and is AWESOME! And you know right now you can hear his breathing.

1. Boba Fett - Outside of Vader I don't think there is a badder ass in the galaxy. He got eliminated from ROTJ pretty easily but in the expanded universe, the Sarlac doesn't kill him.


Who's in your 5 - Big Ten Rivalries/Trophies

As Deace & Miller said a few weeks ago, yea there is only 1 Rivalry in the Big Ten that is great nationally. But there are other fun ones within the conference. With the addition of Nebraska next year I think there will be new great one formed, most notably Iowa-Nebraska! But right now here are my 5 favorite Rivalries and Trophy games.

5. Iowa vs Penn State – No trophy but becoming quite good.

4. Little Brown Jug: Michigan vs Michigan State

3. Old Oaken Bucket: Indiana vs Purdue

2. Floyd of Rosedale: Iowa vs Minnesota

1. The Game: Ohio State vs Michigan

Inception - Life? Reality? Dreams?

Ok, so this blog is a few weeks over due. And would have been better if it was still fresh in my mind, but we went out and saw Christopher Nolan's film Inception. It's visually great! That part is awesome. The story is good, some I could have done with out but yea it was really good. I think of the films I've seen this year its #2 right now behind Toy Story 3.

But here's what happened afterwards. We were talking about dreams and reality and then Christianity got brought up and belief in God. Now let me start here, I'm a Methodist. I believe in God, Heaven and a higher Power. (YES this is a big step from what your usually used to here if anyone is reading this.) But somehow that we got talking and it was like was Leo's character in reality or was his life all a dream of someone else. Are we real. Does that make a person a bad person if they don't believe.

I then brought up that fact that well when we are gone, we are gone. This is going to sound weird but when I was about 13, I sat infront of the mirror in the bathroom at my parents house and just looked at myself in my eyes. About 25 mins in to it I got the feeling that there is only 1 me. When I'm gone I'm gone. I'm never going to feel or enjoy those things in life again. Like the smell of peaches in a grocery store. The tingle of excitment of walking up the dark ramp at Kinnick Stadium until you get to the top and see the sun and the bright green grass. When I die, I die. I wont be able to see that again of feel that again. That affected me a lot that day and then the next few years.

So now fast forward. We were talking about Christianity and Jesus. (Please see statement above I believe in God and Higher Power) But did Jesus really exist as God's Son or was he just someone really smart that knew things that others didn't. Like were all these miracles happening based on the fact he knew certain sciences and could maybe pull these "miracles" off? Then had followers who believed him and maybe had knowledge too? Water to wine? Could he have added something? The healings, did he have some medicine training or knowledge that no one else did?

All these things pop in my head and I just think stuff. Like I said this blog would have been better a few weeks ago but I didn't get on the comptuer that night. There weren't kids around, can you blame me? Maybe this is what Nolan wanted from this movie. To make you think about life and your reality and religon. If so, hey good job Chris! If it was just meant for pure enjoyment then something got planted in my head. Can't wait for Batman 3 Chris!

What do you all think?


50 Things about me.

Ok, so I’ve seen this on a few blogs, and to compliment them, I'm going to steal/borrower their idea. So 50 things about me will start....now.

1. I grew up in a town of 500, and miss that feeling living in Des Moines. I want to move out of town so my kids can have that experience.

2. My favorite music is Country. Will listen to most anything but prefer country. It dominates my iPod other than....

3. My daughter's songs are taking over my iPod. She is 5, and likes Hannah Montana, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, and Katy Perry. So when I listen to the "All Songs" option I'll get a hand full of her songs that I'll skip through. But when she's listening to my iPod she'll sing the songs word for word...there's no better sound.

4. Speaking of my daughter, I picked out her name from the street Wrigley Field is on in Chicago. Mrs N found out when she was 7 mos pregnant and was like "really Matt?" She had already liked the name to much though!

5. If I could skip from spring to fall and skip summer, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I have a comfort level of around 65-80 degrees. If it’s any hotter or humid I say screw it. And plus it would get me to football season quicker.

6. I've been enrolled at 4 colleges. Started out at the Univ of Iowa. Then went back hom to MCC, and then graduated from Iowa State Univ. I've also taken classes online at Univ of Phoenix.

7. I've also had 4 majors. One at Iowa, One at MCC, 2 at ISU. I went to ISU as an MIS major because everyone said "you should do this you’d be good at it." Well I knew that I would but would I have more fun at something else? So I graduated in Sports Marketing/Management. Almost had a job with the minor league team in the Quad Cities, but ISU messed something up and lost that opportunity. Haven't sniffed a job in that major yet. Should have stayed in MIS i guess.

8. I'm photo happy. I love taking pictures. Tailgating at Iowa games we'd have 400-500 pics a year of our drunkenness. Any trips or anything too I'll snap pics of kids, family and friends.

9. I've lost 40 pounds since Feb 2010. I thought I should get in shape and well I have. Did my first 5k this year too. Got 15-20 more to lose and I'll be happy.

10. I balance the checkbook about 3 times a day. I'm obsessed with it and cutting corners and saving and paying off debt.

11. I hate having a cell phone and iPod touch...one reason I’m getting an iPhone, I only want 1 thing to carry around!

12. In the 7 years I've had my job with WF, I've taken the 2nd Tuesday off in July every year to play the new release of NCAA Football all day long with no interruptions. This year though is the first year I didn't do it.

13. I've had 3 of my 4 grandparents pass away within a week of my birthday. The one I was closest too passed away 2 days from my 21st birthday. My mom's dad passed away on my Dad's birthday, a week before mine, and my other was a week or so after mine and close to my cousins. I stopped celebrating my birthday till really Mrs N was in my life and we started celebrating.

14. The only reason I like summer and glad it’s not skipped is because I get to play SOFTBALL! And well Drink Beer!

15. Texting and twittering and facebooking while drunk is probably something I shouldn't do. Those who have received messages from me while drunk know why! :P

16. On more than one occasion I've sat and watched all 3 original Star Wars movies back-to-back-to-back.

17. When I had my Iowa Hawkeye football website I had almost 10,000 hits….9500 where probably from me.

18. I have my own college football ranking computer poll. It will be available after week 2 and posted prominently all year on my blog. Stay tuned.

19. I’ve been to over 100 Iowa Hawkeye football games in my life, but only one in the past 2 seasons.

20. I hate the drive back from Iowa City now. Those 2+ hours are just dreadful when I know if I was home watching it on my big screen in HD I would already be home! Being hung over also doesn’t help.

21. I saw Star Wars: The Phantom Menace twice on opening day, the midnight showing and then again at 7pm.

22. I didn’t have my first date/kiss till I was 19 and a sophomore in college. She was 16 and her dad was a sheriff. (Well do the ones when I was 5/6 and sneaked them at the babysitters, do those count?)

23. I was really shy from JH to HS. Broke out of my shell in college and especially at Iowa State. If only I would have done that earlier what could have been!

24. I’m not as good as I once was, but I still have my moments…..

25. If my dvd’s aren’t in alphabetical order I will take them all off and put them back in order. I’ve had family members switch them up on me to freak me out and have me redo them just to get a laugh. And having a 2 and 5 year old doesn’t help either!

26. I was lucky enough to see the last RedSox-Yankees game in OLD Yankee Stadium with my dad and brother. Something I will never forget and is probably my best trip ever.

27. I went on a lot of dates in my college and after college years and spent lots of money on them, and they lead to nowhere. The 1st date with Mrs N cost me $1.00. Went to the dollar movie theater on half price night.

28. Prior to the first date with Mrs N, I cancelled on her 4 times to go on dates with other girls. She cancelled on my 3 times to go on other dates and another time she just didn’t want to. She only went out with me that first time because quote “she had nothing else she could find to do.”

29. I proposed to Mrs N in a dark alley/plaza in Tempe, Arizona outside of ‘My Big Fat Greek Restaurant’. Didn’t have a ring and we were on a Hawkeye Road trip to watch Iowa play Arizona State. She said yes still though.

30. I named my dog after Iowa's legendary coach Hayden Fry. She's a sheppard-lab mix and will turn 7 this December.

31. I graduated from Iowa State Univ though being an Iowa Hawkeye fan. Some teachers called me Hawkeye.

32. In high school once I was called into the guidance consular’s office because some teachers were accusing me of being a bookie.

33. I have many regrets in life, but my biggest is not going out for football in high school. I loved Iowa football so much that I didn’t want to give up my Saturday’s for practice or games that I’d miss going to Kinnick Stadium with my dad.

34. I hope one day I’ll be able to take my son to an Iowa game along with my dad and do the same routine my dad and I did. Stop at the Amana’s for breakfast and then show up for warm-ups, game and then leave afterwards, get home, grill out and watch the late game till we crash.

35. I was once stung by a Portuguese man-o-war. It’s a bad ass jelly fish whose stings are deadly. I was in the ocean, just swimming around then felt a sting on my arm, yanked it out of the water and from my wrist to bicep I couldn’t see my arm, it was covered in purple tentacles.

36. Every time I come across Shawshank Redemption on TV I stop and watch it till the end, no matter where it is in the movie. Top 5 all time movie!

37. My son is an exact copy of me. Eats the same way I do. Facial expressions, talking. And sense of humor. Watch out world!

38. I was and am still a nerd. I won my awards on my senior day of computer programming, and recognition for Quiz Bowl and Knowledge Masters. And messed around with computers and gadgets all the time. Guess that’s why people thought I would do well as an MIS Major? (SEE #7)

39. My dream car is a 1969 Dodge Charger. AKA The General Lee! And if I ever get one it’s getting painted just like the General. And I guarantee that the day after I get it all done up I will die trying to jump it over a creek or river with the bridge out. I also learned to drive by watching the Dukes of Hazzard.

40. I haven’t seen my best friend since about 2001. I saw her every day from about 1998-2001. We are now in different towns and when we chat it is too far and few in between and usually on facebook. We made a pact we were going to marry each other if we were single at age 27. We were a month or so from that!

41. I spent and wasted way too many hours of my life playing video games! Something I hope to halt my kids from doing! Damn you Tecmo Bowl and NCAA Football!

42. I enjoy watching Iowa football more with my son than being there now.

43. In college for a Halloween costume I dyed my hair platinum blonde and left it in a bit too long, and well it was really bright.

44. I have a Yoda sitting at my desk at work on my computer.

45. I think Heath Ledger's Joker is one of the best performances on film I've ever seen.

46. Since college it’s been harder and harder for me to drink liquor. If I do it’s going to be either a wild night or rough night.

47. Laundry is my ultimate nemesis!

48. Sometimes I think the twitter/facebook/myspace world is just an offshoot of highschool cliques and popularity contests.

49. Life…if I could do it all over again, I would. See what different paths I would go down.

50. I know that I'm blogging and writing and no one is reading it, but who cares, its stored here on the net. Maybe one day someone will find it and enjoy it. Till then, I'm just talking to myself.

This isn’t as easy as it looks…I dare you to try!


College Football Predictions - 2010

Big Ten Conf Predictions
Ohio State
Penn State
Michigan State

Big Ten Bowls
BCS Championship – Ohio State vs. Boise State
Fiesta Bowl – Iowa vs. Oklahoma
Cap One – Wisconsin vs. Florida
Outback – Penn State vs. Georgia
Gator – Northwestern vs. South Carolina
Insight –Purdue vs. Missouri
Texas – Michigan vs. Baylor
Dallas – Michigan State vs. East Carolina

Other Big Bowls
Rose Bowl – Oregon State vs. LSU
Orange Bowl – Pittsburgh vs. Miami
Sugar Bowl – Alabama vs. Texas

Cotton Bowl - Nebraska vs. Arkansas

BCS Conference Champs
Big East – Pittsburgh
Big Ten – Ohio State/Iowa
ACC – Miami (Coastal) over Clemson (Atlantic)
Big XII – Oklahoma (South) over Nebraska(North)
Pac10 – Oregon State
SEC – Alabama (West) over Florida (East)

Jacory Harris – Miami

Big Ten MVP
John Clay - Wisconsin



So today as I was cleaning stuff out and up for my daughter's new bedroom I ran across a few things. One was my last birthday card from my grandma nielsen. She wrote it 2 days before she passed away, which was 2 days before my 21st birthday. She gave me money the last few years or so and wrote "to a special grandson, go get something you really like." I still remember that morning mom came to my room (yes i was living at home going to community college) and woke me up and said grandma had passed. That was a rough birthday and spring break.

Then I came across a program from my other grandma's funeral. She passed away from a long battle with Alzheimer's last October. That was a rough one for me too, cried a lot at the visitation and funeral. Some of it was the pictures I saw of my childhood, with my grandma and grandpa at Clear Lake and on holidays. Some of it was life hitting me in the face that I've lost really a piece of my childhood and my life. As I grow older and have kids, more of that gets to me. And finally what got to me was the poem on the back of the program. I wanted to blog this earlier but never did, so I will leave you with this.

God saw she was getting tired
And a cure was not to be.
So He put His arms around her
And whispered, come with Me.
With tearful eyes we watched her suffer
And saw her fade away.
Although we loved her dearly,
We could not maker her stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best.

-Author unknown.

Well he has 2 of the very bests!